FAITH: There is necessity in being ONE

Published 8:15 am Saturday, December 25, 2021

Pastor Brad McKenzie

In reality it should not surprise us, but we humans crave, and often are addicted to, the comfort of certainty.  When it comes to our need for certainty in eternity and the redemption of the world and our own personal salvation, we can always find great assurance in the words of Jesus.

“Let not your hearts be troubled. Believe in God; believe also in me. In my Father’s house are many rooms. If it were not so, would I have told you that I go to prepare a place for you? And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and will take you to myself, that where I am you may be also. And you know the way to where I am going.” Thomas said to him, “Lord, we do not know where you are going. How can we know the way?” Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me. If you had known me, you would have known my Father also. From now on you do know him and have seen him.” John 14:1-7

Jesus told Thomas and tells us He is the WAY, the TRUTH, and the LIFE!  This is amazing comfort and certainty.  This is also a contentious comfort and certainty for the world, and the defeated ruler of this world has been trying to destroy the idea of one way, one truth, one life since Jesus ascended into Heaven and the Holy Spirit came to set believers and the world on fire!  Unfortunately, in humanity’s quest to find a comfort of certainty which is more pleasing to our human selfishness, we have tried to prove there are numerous paths to enlightenment, happiness, and eternal life.  Still, it is only Jesus, and there is but ONE way to the Father and one way to the coming kingdom of Christ!

In our quest to find a path to God which pleases man’s desire for self, we have created a greater toxic environment of disunity and distraction.  Unfortunately, the church has become one of the most divided and non-unified people groups in the world.  This has been going on for centuries and is not just a divide between denominations and paths, but also exists in the fabric of local church families struggling to stay united, let alone take the light to the dark and make disciples.

“I therefore, a prisoner for the Lord, urge you to walk in a manner worthy of the calling to which you have been called, with all humility and gentleness, with patience, bearing with one another in love, eager to maintain the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace. There is one body and one Spirit—just as you were called to the one hope that belongs to your call— one Lord, one faith, one baptism, one God and Father of all, who is over all and through all and in all. But grace was given to each one of us according to the measure of Christ’s gift.” Ephesians 4:1-7

I recently heard a story illustrating the necessity of being ONE!

Once there were a group of birds who learned how to work together when a hunter threw his net over them.  They learned to fly off in sync and would be saved!  One day, one bird accidentally stepped on the toes of another bird, and the one who was stepped on was so angry, that he began to argue with the other, even those the one who had stepped on the fellow bird tried to apologize.

Soon, birds began to take sides.  So, when the hunter threw his net on the birds again, and the one group suggested they fly off together, those on the other side said, “No, you fly off first!”  This just turned into a great argument between both sides of the net.  That is until the hunter easily caught them in his net.  When we don’t work with others to solve conflict, anger, and hurt feelings, we find ourselves being in the mess of unresolved conflict with those who we oppose and get caught in the same net.

We all need to learn to fly at the same time with the people in our lives.  This only happens when we hold to the teachings of Jesus where we live and believe HE is the ONE and only Way to God, and we are UNITED under the banner of ONE: Lord, Faith, Baptism, and LOVE!

Yesterday, a Facebook memory came up on my wife’s feed of our daughter singing in a Christmas production over ten years ago.  She sang the song All is Well with the choir.

All is well all is well, Angels and men rejoice

For tonight darkness fell, Into the dawn of love’s light

Sing Ale, Sing Alleluia

 

All is well all is well, Let there be peace on earth

Christ’s come go and tell, That He is in the manger

Sing Ale, Sing Alleluia

 

All is well all is well, Lift up your voices and sing

Born is now Emmanuel, Born is our Lord and Savior

Sing Alleluia, Sing Alleluia, All is well

 

Born is now Emmanuel, Born is our Lord and Savior

Sing Alleluia, Sing Alleluia, All is well

 

Friends, Emmanuel has been born.  He is God with us, God in Us, and God through us!

 

Merry Christmas, You are Valued and Loved, Pastor B

 

 

Rev. Brad McKenzie is Lead Pastor at Orange First Church of the Nazarene, 3810 Martin Luther King Jr. Drive in Orange.